A Hero of two World Wars

DH4s of 25 Squadron are engaged by Fokker DR1s of Jasta 14 near Lille on 8 June 1918. This is a special print dedicated to the memory of Rev. William H. G. Milnes OBE MC MA (1898-1962) Milnes flew DH4s with 25 Squadron on the Western Front in WWI and was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. This painting depicts the events when by skillful flying he enabled his gunner to destroy one of four attacking German aircraft. In two World Wars Rev. Milnes achieved an incredible threefold success. Firstly as a young decorated pilot in WWI. Secondly, in WWII in his early forties as Principal of Elizabeth College Guernsey, he organised the evacuation of the College just days before German troops occupied the Channel Islands. (The only part of Great Britain to be occupied by enemy troops in WWII). Once in England he somehow managed to establish the College in two separate locations - 12 miles apart- in the heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. He then successfully guided the College through five difficult years of exile; during which time, the College achieved many academic and sporting successes. What might have been a disaster for the future of the College was turned into a triumph; not only did the College survive those exile years, it flourished and found new strength. Finally when the Channel Islands were liberated, he successfully re-established the College on its return home to Guernsey in 1945. He planned to retire at the age of 60 in 1958 but due to serious ill health, had to do so a year earlier, and though to a certain extent he recovered and regained strength, another heart attack proved fatal and sadly he died in 1962 aged 64. The Royal Air Force motto Per Ardua ad Astra is perhaps a fitting epitaph for the life of Rev. William Henry Goodenough Milnes OBE MC MA. Through hardship to the stars.

  • Image size:
    63cm x 31cm (25" x 12")
  • Overall size:
    71cm x 43cm (28" x 17")
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